Stephen Simon: Film Producer Following His Joy

Stephen Simon

For the last few years, our household has been a proud member of Spiritual Cinema Circle. Each month, we get a brand new DVD sent to us with four new spiritual films – they’re movies that inspire us, engage us, and help us connect with the big-picture and the preciousness of life.

All along the way, it’s been a joy to see the Circle’s co-founder, Stephen Simon, discuss the films and engage in conversations with members.

This guy is absolutely passionate about what he does! And it’s obvious that he’s doing what he is meant to do. As a filmmaker, writer, and producer – he’s following his joy, big-time. When I first got the idea to start a series of interviews with Joy-Followers, I knew I wanted to talk to Stephen. And was I delighted that he agreed!

In addition to being the co-founder of Spiritual Cinema Circle, he’s the author of Bringing Back the Old Hollywood and the producer of two films that grabbed my heart: Somewhere In Time and What Dreams May Come.

I’m excited to introduce Read more »

Marci Shimoff: Following Her Joy Through Love

Marci Shimoff

If Marci Shimoff’s name sounds familiar to you, it should! She’s the New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason, as well as co-author of six books in the phenomenally popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her books have sold more than 14 million copies worldwide in 31 languages. Wow! She’s also a featured teacher in the hit film, The Secret. Special thanks to Arielle Ford for introducing me to yet another bright Joy-Follower.

Marci is currently launching a brand new book called Love for No Reason, which offers a step-by-step program for us to live in a state of unconditional love every day of our lives. The more I live my life, the more I realize the importance of love as the foundation – so Marci’s important work has certainly caught my attention. I just started diving into her book, hot-off-the press, and wholeheartedly recommend it!

Just as I would have guessed, my conversation with Marci was enlightening, engaging, inspiring – and her spirit is full of aliveness and energy. She’s the kind of woman you Read more »

Gail Lynne Goodwin: Following Her Joy Through Inspiration

Gail Lynne Goodwin

Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of Inspire Me Today. For quite some time, I’ve been following her inspiration via her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. She always knows just the right thing to say! And then when I asked my friend Arielle Ford for a recommendation on a great person to interview for Following Your Joy, without hesitation she replied: “Gail Goodwin!”

So here we are. I’m so grateful that my path has crossed with Gail, and I’m delighted that Arielle connected us. What a joy to have a conversation with Gail about the “important” stuff in life – she’s full of depth and compassion and has a wise view of the world that I can’t wait to share with readers. Read more »

Joseph Wooten: Keyboardist and Vocalist Spreading Joy

Joseph Wooten

So I got a guy who knows a guy. A friend of mine said, “You’ve got to meet Joseph Wooten. He brings me so much joy!” He went on to say that “Joseph breaks the mold, and he’s living proof that our nation is on its course to righteousness and equality.”

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to meet Joseph!

He’s keyboardist and vocalist for the Steve Miller Band and one of the Wooten Brothers from Nashville. He calls himself ‘Hands of Soul,’ and he’s got his own amazing music to boot. When we did meet, Joseph and I really connected on his song called “I Matter.” It’s a song connecting people and addressing the deep need that we each, in our own right, matter.

Throughout my years of coaching, one of many consistent threads I see in my work with clients is their need to know that they’re important and that they matter. And I totally get that. I feel it, too. We just want to know that we’re significant – somehow – in this big, vast universe. It’s a fundamental need. I even addressed it in Read more »

Arielle Ford & Brian Hilliard: Soulmates Following Their Joy

Arielle Ford & Brian Hilliard

I’ve been familiar with Arielle Ford for several years and have been thoroughly captivated by her work in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 25 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. Her career includes years as a prominent book publicist, author, literary agent, TV lifestyle reporter, television producer, radio host, publishing consultant, relationship expert, speaker, and columnist and blogger for The Huffington Post. How’s that for an impressive resume?!

Then, earlier this year it was highly recommended by a few folks that I connect with Brian Hilliard on Facebook. The buzz out there was that he was one of the most loving, spiritual, joyful souls on the planet and it was his mission to spread joy and love wherever he goes. And I would be “so blessed” if I would get connected with him. So I didn’t walk, I ran! And boy, were those folks right-on. This guy has single-handedly made me smile and filled my heart no short of a hundred times.

Come to find out that these two amazing and lovely people are husband and wife! And Brian is the “soulmate” who was the catalyst behind Read more »

Marty Balin: Singer Following His Joy

Michelle Stimpson & Marty Balin

Michelle & Marty backstage - Milwaukee, WI

Beginning in the mid 1960’s, Marty Balin was the lead singer and founder of Jefferson Airplane—a pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement from the San Francisco music scene. I met Marty a few years ago backstage at an outdoor summer concert when he was performing with the spin-off group, Jefferson Starship.

Since then, we’ve spent time together on a few different occasions and I came to realize that this guy loves what he does. And I’ve been drawn to his voice since I was a kid (yes, some of my favorites are from my preschool days!). When I posted on Facebook that I was doing an interview with Marty, one of my FB friends commented: “Marty’s got one of the best voices in rock and roll!” Agreed.

Need a quick refresher? First check out this post to read the cool story of when Marty and I first met, and you can also catch a glimpse there of one of my favorite songs of all-time, “Miracles” (which hit # 3 on the Billboard charts in 1975).

Doing this interview with Marty was a joy…and a breeze. He’s laser-focused, living a life of intention and simplicity, and following the things in life that bring him joy—to a “t.” He’s living a lifestyle that Read more »

Kenny Lee Lewis: Guitarist Following His Joy

Kenny Lee Lewis

As part of a series of interviews with some of my favorite Joy-Followers, I’m proud to introduce Kenny Lee Lewis, guitarist and vocalist for the Steve Miller Band for over 28 years.

Why Kenny?

Bill and I first saw the Steve Miller Band live a few years ago and were completely blown away. Here’s a group of guys that knows how to have fun and how to show the crowd a good time, connecting people through the joy of their music.

I particularly felt a connection with Kenny and after reading about him, I decided, yep—this was the guy I wanted to talk to. The Following Your Joy blog is full of stories of synchronicity, and I was enthralled with Kenny’s write-up of how he and Steve Miller started working together way back. On his website, Kenny tells how he snuck out of his house as a 13 year-old in 1968 to see Steve Miller play live.

From his website: “When I watched him that night in ’68, I could swear he made eye contact with me for a moment and winked. I made a sub-conscious auto-suggestion to myself right then and there that Read more »

Look What’s Coming Soon!

Well, it’s official. Through your comments and feedback, you—our readers and subscribers—have given a message loud and clear. You’ve been captivated by stories relating to joy and the wonderful way in which life gets sweeter the more we focus on joy. It’s seems that you crave more stories and real-life examples of the power of joy in our lives.

Many of you have reported that it’s so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life, and that you’ve lost touch with what brings you joy, struggling to make it a priority.

You have so resonated with the idea of Following Your Joy, that I’m extremely excited, proud, and humbled to get a new gig going here. This blog started out as a place to share what I know about joy…but now it’s time to get some other big-time Joy-Followers involved!

So let’s learn from the experts and see how it’s done. Soon, you’ll see Read more »

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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